Current Affairs 10th January

National Affairs

1. The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with L&T to acquire 41 modular bridges for the Indian Army worth Rs. 2585 crore.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) entered into a contract with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on February 8, 2023, to acquire 41 indigenous modular bridges for the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army, a combat support arm that develops infrastructure for armed forces and provides support in combat engineering.


Over Rs. 2,585 crores is anticipated to be spent on the purchase of the bridges.

L&T, a production company nominated by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), will produce the Modular Bridges, which were designed and developed by DRDO.


In accordance with the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” mission, this will increase the indigenization of defence equipment.


Note: This project demonstrates India’s progress in creating world-class military equipment.


Concerning modular bridges:


7 carrier vehicles based on 88 Heavy Mobility Vehicles and 2 launcher vehicles based on 1010 Heavy Mobility Vehicles will make up the Modular Bridge set.


A single-span, fully decked, 46-meter assault bridge will be launched mechanically from each set.


With their quick launching and retrieval capabilities, the Modular Bridges can be used to cross canals and ditches and other obstacles.


In addition, this rugged, versatile, and highly mobile equipment is able to keep up with wheeled and tracked mechanized vehicles.




Modular bridges have a greater span, require less time to construct, and can be launched mechanically with retrieval capability than MGBs.


The Indian Army’s bridging capabilities on the Western Front will be enhanced by these modular bridges.

Banking and Finance

1. Highlights from FY23’s First Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy; 6.50% repo rate was added.

The Monetary Policy Statement, 2022-23 Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was released on February 6-8, 2022. In it, the MPC projected that India’s real GDP growth would be 6.4% for FY24 (lower than 7% in FY23), with FY24’s Q1 at 7.8%, Q2 at 6.2%, Q3 at 6%, and Q4 at 5.8%. The position is to concentrate on ending the accommodation.


Retail inflation, or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), is expected to rise by 5.3% in FY24, with 5.4% in FY24’s first quarter, 5.4% in Q2, 5.4% in Q3, and 5.6% in Q4.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed allowing all inbound tourists to use the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for merchant payments (P2M) while they were in India.


In 12 cities, RBI will begin a pilot project on QR Code-based Coin Vending Machines (QCVM).


About India’s Reserve Bank (RBI):


In accordance with the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934, the Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935.


The Reserve Bank’s Central Office was initially established in Calcutta, but in 1937, it was permanently relocated to Mumbai.


The Reserve Bank is wholly owned by the Indian government, despite the fact that it was initially owned privately until it was made a national bank in 1949.

2. MobiKwik was the first fintech app to enable RuPay Credit Card UPI payments.

One MobiKwik Systems Limited’s payment apps MobiKwik is now the first fintech app in India to support RuPay Credit Cards via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). MobiKwik has been granted permission by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to enable RuPay credit card UPI payments for its customers.


Objective: to lead the way toward financial inclusion and make financial services available to all Indians.


Key Points:


Customers of MobiKwik will be able to make payments to merchants by scanning the UPI QR code and using the UPI PIN as payment authentication because the RuPay Credit Cards are now directly linked to UPI IDs.


Asset-lite QR codes will be used to accept credit cards without the need for PoS terminals thanks to this feature.


This feature’s transaction limit will adhere to UPI standard transaction limits.


How much money can be transferred using UPI?


The transaction limit for normal UPI is Rs 1 lakh per transaction.

The maximum amount that can be transferred using UPI is Rs 2 lakh for capital markets, collections, insurance, and foreign inward remittances, and Rs 5 lakh for initial public offerings and retail direct schemes.


Recent UPI initiatives include:


Under certain conditions, the NPCI recently permitted UPI platforms to accept accounts belonging to non-resident account holders from ten nations with international mobile numbers for non-resident external (NRE) and ordinary (NRO) accounts.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently proposed allowing all inbound travellers to use UPI for merchant payments (P2M) while they are in India.

3. “Hello Ujjivan,” India’s first voice, visual, and vernacular banking app for the “digitally challenged,” is now available from Ujjivan SFB.

“Hello, Ujjivan,” a mobile banking application with three Vs—voice, visual, and vernacular-enabled features—has been launched by Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) to provide banking access to individuals who have limited reading and writing skills.

Together with Navana, the app “Hello Ujjivan” was created. AI.


Application i.’s significance The aim of the “Hello Ujjivan” app is to teach digitally challenged rural and micro banking customers how to bank.


The app is voice-activated in eight regional languages: Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, and Assamese are the other languages.


Access to services like loan Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) payments, opening Fixed Deposit (FD) and Recurring Deposit (RD) accounts, transferring funds, and more is available to users through voice commands.


Due to its intuitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, the app is able to interpret customers’ unstructured banking demands and provide the appropriate response.


The app provides a recorded voice guide and a visual representation of each step in the user’s preferred language.


Key Points:


Initially, the app will only be available to current micro-banking service users.


Ujjivan SFB will introduce additional languages and banking features in the following phase, including the ability to create new customer accounts, pay utility bills, obtain repeat loans, and recharge mobile and DTH devices.


Over 72 million customers are currently served by Ujjivan SFB through its 600 branches across India.


The gross loan book of Ujjivan SFB is worth Rs. 21,895 crores, and the base deposit is worth Rs. 23,203 crore as of the 31st of December 2022.

4. The “Insurance Mall” portal was launched by Bajaj Finance.

Bajaj Finance Ltd. (Bajaj Finance) has launched a new portal called “Insurance Mall” for its customers to make it easy for them to buy policies. The goal is to provide high-quality services and make it easier for customers to deal with any problems they might have when buying policies.


In addition to Bajaj Finance’s exclusive Pocket Insurance and Subscription categories, the “Insurance Mall” portal provides a diverse selection of insurance plans and policies.


Key Points:


Over 250 policies and plans are available from Insurance Mall to meet the needs of every customer. These products are constantly updated to ensure that they remain relevant.


The following are some of the policies that are available in the centralized platform for all policies: Insurance for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, extended warranties for appliances, pocket insurance and subscriptions, and investment plans are all options.


Customers who purchase insurance plans from the Bajaj Finance Insurance Mall enjoy the following advantages: a process entirely digital; a long list of products; cost-effective premiums; and plans made just for you.


Bajaj Finance has also formed partnerships with a few of the most prominent insurers in India in order to offer products that are best suited to the industry’s changing demands.

Bajaj Finance, also known as Bajaj Finance:


A subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv Ltd., Bajaj Finance Ltd. is an NBFC-Investment and Credit Company (NBFC-ICC) and deposit-taking Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC-D) registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).


It was established in 1987 under the name Bajaj Auto Finance Limited before changing its name to Bajaj Finance Limited in 2012.

5. Large-Scale Green Hydrogen Projects in India will receive 1 Billion Euros from the EIB, which has agreed to join IH2A.

Kris Peeters, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), has formally agreed to join the “India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A)” and increase support for large-scale green hydrogen hubs and projects throughout India with an initial investment of 1 billion euros, subject to approvals from the Indian government and the EIB.


The European Investment Bank (EIB), a branch of the European Union (EU) bank that lends money, is the largest public bank in the world and a major financier of climate change and renewable energy.


The EIB would be able to push green hydrogen development and investment in clean energy in India even more with the new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IH2A.


India’s hydrogen value chain and economy are the goals of the IH2A, a global and Indian industry alliance.


Key Points:


The EIB and the Indian government are looking into a credit facility to help the green hydrogen industry grow by investing in important public sectors.


By consistently investing in innovation, research and development, green hydrogen hubs, and pilot projects, this facility would aid India’s efforts to commercialize new green hydrogen technologies and expedite cost reductions.


India will be able to implement a national green hydrogen roadmap and achieve its goals for a net-zero carbon footprint and an energy transition with the enhanced cooperation of IH2A.


Working with the Indian government, state governments, global hydrogen players, and Indian businesses, the IH2A focuses on attracting global climate finance for the development of a large-scale hydrogen hub in India.


The EU’s “Global Gateway Initiative,” which supports initiatives that improve global and regional connectivity in the digital, climate, transportation, health, energy, and education sectors, includes this climate action project.


Note: During the visit of Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson to Delhi in September 2022, the First EU-India Green Hydrogen Forum was held, fostering further clean energy cooperation between the EU and India.

Economy and Business

1. Samsung Semiconductor India Research and IISc collaborate on electrostatic discharge protection research and development.

A new partnership between the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and Samsung Semiconductor India Research (SSIR), a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, was announced on February 8, 2023, with the goal of encouraging research and development (R&D) in the area of on-chip Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection.


IISc’s commitment to enhancing industry-academic collaborations that have the potential to have a significant impact in the future is strengthened by this partnership.


Key People:


In the presence of representatives from SSIR and IISc, Balajee Sowrirajan, Corporate Vice President (CVP) and Managing Director (MD) at SSIR, Bengaluru, Karnataka, and Professor Govindan Rangarajan, Director of IISc, exchanged the research agreement.


The partnership’s characteristics:


As part of this partnership, IISc and SSIR will collaborate on crucial research into advanced nanoelectronics devices.


In order to safeguard ultra-high-speed serial interfaces in cutting-edge Integrated Circuits (ICs) and system-on-chip (SoC) products, the partnership aims to develop cutting-edge ESD device solutions.


The Department of Electronic Systems Engineering (DESE) at IISc will collaborate with the group led by Prof. Mayank Shrivastava to carry out related research on ESD protection.


Samsung’s advanced process nodes will be used to implement the research-derived solutions.


Key Points:


Although integrated circuits (ICs) and system-on-chips (SoCs) are necessary components of any system, large or small, they are particularly vulnerable to ESD failures when constructed with cutting-edge nanoscale CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technologies. The majority of IC chip failures and field returns are caused by ESD failures.


Industry leaders in the market are those that have mastered the art of designing ESD protection devices and interface concepts.


Therefore, the semiconductor innovation effort cannot succeed without ESD technology research and development (R&D) for highly reliable interfaces and SoCs that operate at high speed and low power.


Note: For ESD device research, IISc is one of the world’s leading institutes.

2. Deepak Fertilisers and NOVATEK Sign MoU on LNG Supply and Low-Carbon Ammonia

A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the supply of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and low-carbon ammonia was signed on February 6, 2023, by Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. (Deepak Fertilisers), the second largest natural gas producer in Russia.


The Arctic LNG 2 project, as well as spot and long-term LNG deliveries to Deepak Fertilisers, are all included in the agreement.


Key Features:


In addition, the parties intend to work together on the long-term supply of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia produced through carbon capture, underground storage, cracking, and renewable energy sources at NOVATEK’s upcoming gas chemical facility in Yamal, Russia.


In 2022, the pre-FEED (Front End Engineering Design) study of the gas chemical complex was finished.


The signed Memorandum of Understanding will help to further bolster Russia’s energy cooperation, which benefits both parties.


NOVATEK will be able to supply competitive LNG to India’s energy market, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing, with advanced process and logistical solutions and a high-quality, low-cost resource base.


We intend to produce low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia together with LNG in an integrated cluster. This will help the region’s economic development and address relevant climate and environmental issues.

3. Phoenix Group in the United Kingdom signs a deal worth 600 million GBP for TCS.

Through a contract worth more than 600 million British pound sterling (GBP), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has expanded its partnership with Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement provider in the United Kingdom (UK).


As part of the agreement, TCS will digitally transform Phoenix’s ReAssure business, including its administration services, by utilizing the platform based on the Bell Administrative Network Communications System (BaNCS).


According to the terms of the agreement, Diligenta, a regulated subsidiary of TCS in the UK working for Phoenix, will handle customer administration and service for the 3 million policies that ReAssure has.


Through analytics and self-service across channels, TCS Solution will assist Phoenix in transforming customer service from beginning to end.


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